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Uganda receives two more shipments of Ebola vaccine

Children are checked for symptoms of Ebola in Uganda   -  
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BADRU KATUMBA/AFP or licensors


Health authorities in Uganda have announced changes in the strategy used to tackle the Ebola outbreak in the country. 

The announcement follows the arrival in Uganda of two more shipments of the Ebola-trial vaccine.

"The trial will not stop. What will be done is only a revision of the protocol to change the methodology from giving the vaccine to contacts, if the global experts advise, to giving it to volunteers who are ready. And those volunteers will come voluntarily, free of charge", said Uganda's Health minister, Jane Ruth Aceng.

Speaking on behalf of the UN, the World Health Organization's local representative said Uganda had now the capacity to organise a trial of the Sudan strain of the Ebola vaccine.

"Now we have the capacity in Uganda to make a trial of the Ebola Sudan vaccine, even if it doesn’t occur here today and it occurs in another corner of the world.
The Ugandan... the Makerere University Lung Institute has all the knowledge, and the skills, and the capacity to respond. So by this process we are able to have a skilled capacity which is an asset, not only for Uganda but for the whole of the world", said Dr. Yonas Tegegen Woldemariam, WHO Uganda representative.

Last Saturday the Ugandan government lifted a two-month long lockdown in two districts at the centre of the country's Ebola outbreak.

Three candidate vaccines, one developed by the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute in Britain, another from the Sabin Vaccine Institute in the United States, and a third from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), will be trialled in Uganda in the coming weeks.

The last confirmed patient with the disease was discharged from hospital in Uganda on November 30th.

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